After last night's loss to Winnipeg, the Buffalo Sabres playoff- hopes are dwindling fast. The team has just eight games left, and still sit four points out of the playoff race, and most other teams around them still have a game in hand.
According to playoff prognosticating website Sports Club Stats, the Sabres have dropped to a mere 2.1% chance of making the playoffs, down from 7.6% before the game, thanks to Winnipeg being one of the three primary teams the Sabres would have to leapfrog in order to make the dance.
The tail end of the Sabres schedule is right in the middle of the pack as far as difficulty goes - tough games against the Canadiens, Penguins, and Bruins are balanced out by games against the Lightning and struggling Flyers. Buffalo will also have the chance to play some all-important four point games against teams in front of them, with contests against the Rangers, Islanders, and a final game against Winnipeg still to come.
However, with most teams ahead of them still with a game in hand (Winnipeg is the only team from 8-15 that doesn't) the Sabres will likely need to go post a record like 6-1-1 or 7-1 to get in, and will still need some help. With the way the team played yesterday, that's going to be a tall order.
For those of you rooting for the tankjob, the Sabres are now six points out of a top-3 pick thanks to their recently snapped three game win streak. Games against the Flyers and Lightning are the ones that would allow them to move further back were they to lose.
Win or lose, playoffs or draft position, there's only eight games left in this up-and-down (mostly down) season.